The Paris Agreement is an environmental agreement that was adopted by almost all nations in 2015 to combat climate change and its negative effects. The agreement aims to significantly reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels this century, while continuing to pursue ways to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees. The agreement provides for the commitment of all major emitters to reduce their pollution from climate change and to strengthen these commitments over time. It provides developed countries with a means to assist developing countries in their mitigation and adaptation efforts and establishes a framework for monitoring, reporting and strengthening countries` individual and collective climate goals. The Paris Agreement was launched at the signing on April 22, 2016 (Earth Day) at a ceremony in New York. [59] After the agreement was ratified by several EU member states in October 2016, there were enough countries that had ratified the agreement to produce enough greenhouse gases in the world for the agreement to enter into force. [60] The agreement came into force on November 4, 2016. [2] The Paris Agreement has a bottom-up structure, unlike most international environmental treaties that are « top down, » characterized by internationally defined standards and objectives and must be implemented by states. [32] Unlike its predecessor, the Kyoto Protocol, which sets legal commitment targets, the Paris Agreement, which focuses on consensual training, allows for voluntary and national objectives. [33] Specific climate targets are therefore politically promoted and not legally binding. Only the processes governing reporting and revision of these objectives are imposed by international law. This structure is particularly noteworthy for the United States – in the absence of legal mitigation or funding objectives, the agreement is seen as an « executive agreement, not a treaty. » Since the 1992 UNFCCC treaty was approved by the Senate, this new agreement does not require further legislation from Congress for it to enter into force.

[33] Under the Paris Agreement, each country must define, plan and report regularly on its contribution to warming mitigation. [6] There is no mechanism for a country[7] to set an emission target for a specified date,[8] but any target should go beyond the previous targets. The United States formally withdrew from the agreement the day after the 2020 presidential election,[9] although President-elect Joe Biden said America would return to the agreement after his inauguration. [10] These rules of transparency and accountability are similar to those in other international agreements.